Why Good Shepherd? Why Now?

John KristelSince being named President & CEO of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, I’ve received a number of supportive inquiries from friends and family, colleagues and other health-care executives. Most of the questions I received are a variation of the same theme – Why Good Shepherd? And, why now?

I learned about GSRN while working as Director of Operations at Hahnemann University Hospital and have been following Good Shepherd ever since. When I heard the President & CEO position was open, I actively pursued it. Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. Good Shepherd was founded more than 105 years ago, and in all that time, only five leaders have had the opportunity to serve at the helm. There is a reason for that kind of consistency.

Good Shepherd has a stellar reputation as a provider of post-acute care. Their – I should proudly say “our” – expertise in the rehabilitation of stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury is unsurpassed regionally and is among the best nationally. Good Shepherd is a leader in the innovative use of rehabilitation and assistive technologies. Within the halls of Good Shepherd, the energy and creativity of the staff is palpable and contagious.

As a father, I was attracted to Good Shepherd’s commitment to pediatrics and the benefit it provides to the community. Without Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit, families (who are by nature pressed for time) would need to travel to Philadelphia to receive focused inpatient rehabilitation for their infants, kids and teens. Good Shepherd Pediatrics provides services to more than 4,500 children a year – many on the autism spectrum.

Good Shepherd’s long-term care facilities are rated 5-Star by U.S. News and World Report, which is not an easy feat. Our residential facilities help those with severe neurological and physical disabilities expand their life experiences and maximize their potential.

Good Shepherd has positioned itself well for health-care reform. Our ability to partner with Penn Medicine shows that Good Shepherd has the ability to deliver outstanding post-acute care services to an organization that is world renowned for its quality and innovation. I believe that Good Shepherd has the potential to partner with other high quality health-care systems in the future. The development of these partnerships will be very exciting!

Perhaps above all else, I was attracted to the Raker mission and vision. The mission is the foundation for which every decision is made. The organization’s core values – compassionate care, excellent service and community partnership – reflect my own. Good Shepherd’s trademark “compassionate care” began in a farmhouse more than a century ago and still has a stronghold within the organization’s culture. That kind of mission-focus is hard to resist. It’s like a team that just keeps winning – you just want to be a part of the excitement.

As an added bonus, the Lehigh Valley has a lot to offer my family – fantastic schools, outdoor recreation, entertainment and community programs. My wife and I and our three children look forward taking it all in and making the Lehigh Valley our home.

For more information on Good Shepherd's programs and services, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.

Follow John on Twitter - @GoodShepherdCEO.

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